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Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
Why do some people think SAMs are like some sort of force field that never runs out?

They're there to buy time and effectively defend important sites from attack. They would be especially useful against a weaker enemy. For example if Vietnam and Phillippines tried to destroy those SCS bases, Chinese SAMs will be far more effective than if the USN went in to do that. If the former, Chinese forces will quickly destroy all attacking Viet and Filo platforms while successfully defending against their ordinance by using those HQ-9 and HQ-16s. Against the USN, Chinese forces will need to sink all those carriers and destroy every nearby US base otherwise the onslaught will continue until those HQ-9 and HQ-16s get saturated or run out of missiles.

This means if we're to consider Russia getting hands on F-35 signals vs US getting it's hands on S-400 signals and details, the Russians have far more to gain because that information can help them negate the advantage US F-35s naturally hold at the moment.

We all agree that a few dozen F-35s operating off a carrier is going to obliterate the S-400 site protected whatever Tor M-1s and Pantsirs. Even if the freaking stealth of F-35 isn't effective, Tor M1 and Panstirs and S-400 will run out of missiles! You think they carry hundreds of missiles?!?! Those F-35s will continue to harass and have their way with the SAM site. If the SAM site is on stealth mode and hiding, well the F-35s will just go in and destroy their intended targets anyway. It's freakin joke this point is even being discussed on a military forum. Victor you have made some highly comedic posts in the past and this is yet another hopelessly bad misunderstanding on how military matters work in the real world. Do you also think all missiles always hit their marks and radars are godlike machines of perfection?! Get a clue. Missiles and radars don't hit/pick up targets half the time. They're a coin flip in the BEST of circumstances. Against an F-35 launching stealthy stand off weapons, it's guaranteed the SAM loses.
To cut a long ridiculous ramble short your reasoning goes like this : You keep saying that SAM systems have a limited number of missiles they can fire while conveniently ignoring that the same laws of logistics applies to SEAD aircrafts, did you honestly think that those things grown on trees?

And the rest of your post is hogwash, we never agreed to anything of the sort. You say missiles and radars don't hit all of the time, then the sames applies to anti radiation missiles as well.

You ignore how trained SAM operators managed to avoid SEAD operations and successfully shoot down stealth aircrafts in the past, which is made even more impressive with the dated equipment that they have.

The only comedian here is you with your highly biased setup of SAM systems vs SEAD aircrafts.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
Why do some people think SAMs are like some sort of force field that never runs out?

They're there to buy time and effectively defend important sites from attack. They would be especially useful against a weaker enemy. For example if Vietnam and Phillippines tried to destroy those SCS bases, Chinese SAMs will be far more effective than if the USN went in to do that. If the former, Chinese forces will quickly destroy all attacking Viet and Filo platforms while successfully defending against their ordinance by using those HQ-9 and HQ-16s. Against the USN, Chinese forces will need to sink all those carriers and destroy every nearby US base otherwise the onslaught will continue until those HQ-9 and HQ-16s get saturated or run out of missiles.

This means if we're to consider Russia getting hands on F-35 signals vs US getting it's hands on S-400 signals and details, the Russians have far more to gain because that information can help them negate the advantage US F-35s naturally hold at the moment.

We all agree that a few dozen F-35s operating off a carrier is going to obliterate the S-400 site protected whatever Tor M-1s and Pantsirs. Even if the freaking stealth of F-35 isn't effective, Tor M1 and Panstirs and S-400 will run out of missiles! You think they carry hundreds of missiles?!?! Those F-35s will continue to harass and have their way with the SAM site. If the SAM site is on stealth mode and hiding, well the F-35s will just go in and destroy their intended targets anyway. It's freakin joke this point is even being discussed on a military forum. Victor you have made some highly comedic posts in the past and this is yet another hopelessly bad misunderstanding on how military matters work in the real world. Do you also think all missiles always hit their marks and radars are godlike machines of perfection?! Get a clue. Missiles and radars don't hit/pick up targets half the time. They're a coin flip in the BEST of circumstances. Against an F-35 launching stealthy stand off weapons, it's guaranteed the SAM loses.
You have to look at the difference in costs for a better comparison

A S-400 Division with 120 missiles and multiple search/acquisition radars costs $300M.
Remember that an F-35 costs $100M, so a S-400 SAM Battery only has to defend against and shoot down 3 aircraft to break-even.
 
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Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
Alright cool you guys have convinced me. SAMs are indeed impregnable. I guess all those SAM failures in Syria are just down to silly operators.
Oh stop moving the goal posts, the SAM systems in Syria that were actively used aren't even the S-400 to begin with. And more importantly if we calculate the cost of missiles fired on both sides as well as the targets involved. The cost was actually much higher for the attacker's side.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
To cut a long ridiculous ramble short your reasoning goes like this : You keep saying that SAM systems have a limited number of missiles they can fire while conveniently ignoring that the same laws of logistics applies to SEAD aircrafts, did you honestly think that those things grown on trees?

And the rest of your post is hogwash, we never agreed to anything of the sort. You say missiles and radars don't hit all of the time, then the sames applies to anti radiation missiles as well.

You ignore how trained SAM operators managed to avoid SEAD operations and successfully shoot down stealth aircrafts in the past, which is made even more impressive with the dated equipment that they have.

The only comedian here is you with your highly biased setup of SAM systems vs SEAD aircrafts.
FFS let's push the restart button okay?

The point is this. Russia getting its hands on F-35 data is more valuable than US getting its hands on S-400 data which you and some other guy thought isn't the case. I'm correcting you. Let's totally forget about the other stuff written and start again.

The reason for this is because S-400 is a static piece of hardware. Not static in terms of physical motion although it absolutely is when it is set up to defend a site for example an airfield. It is static because it does one thing only and the entire platform is basically exactly like any other SAM system except maybe overall more capable because it has better radars, C4ISR, longer range missiles, and a whole host of different missile types, better trucks, quicker set up and pack up speeds, transit etc etc etc. But it is essentially the same old concept... find targets and shoot them down. Yes?

F-35 is not the same old fighter only with better everything etc etc. It can be fitted with all sorts of weaponry and conduct various mission types in far more environments than a static piece of military hardware. It's capabilities and improvements over previous generations of fighters is what gives it value. Revealing its radar, electronic, and heat signatures will almost completely take away its main advantages and entire purpose for existing.

Knowing the exact ranges and digital details of the S-400 system isn't going to surprise anyone. It may at most help planners figure out how best to counter them but SEAD already have great ideas on how to combat SAMs and how to approach the problem from knowing nothing about locations and capabilities and still minimising risks. Knowing the same details of the F-35 will do far more damage to the F-35 platform because no one outside the US and main partners know what it's capable of. Whereas everyone already has a good idea of what the S-400 does and is capable of. The F-35 program is also quite a lot more expensive than the S-400 program.

Oh stop moving the goal posts, the SAM systems in Syria that were actively used aren't even the S-400 to begin with. And more importantly if we calculate the cost of missiles fired on both sides as well as the targets involved. The cost was actually much higher for the attacker's side.
A long range SAM is more expensive than an ARM. We should be comparing Russian long range SAM to Russian ARM and so on for fairness. Only long range SAMs need apply because if not long range, a fighter can just drop a cheaper bomb or use rockets.

You have to look at the difference in costs for a better comparison

A S-400 Division with 120 missiles and multiple search/acquisition radars costs $300M.
Remember that an F-35 costs $100M, so a S-400 SAM Battery only has to defend against and shoot down 3 aircraft to break-even.
This is highly inaccurate. You guys are assuming an S-400 site has 120 launches. Not true. These 120 missiles will need a LOT of time to reload canisters. An S-400 division does not have 30 trucks with four cannisters each. Not even close.

Your dollar comparison is again inaccurate because the S-400 will need to shoot down those three F-35s. Question is if the S-400 can defend the targeted site from three F-35s. That's hard to say but I'd bet on the stealth fighters. I personally believe a single F-35 can destroy the site and take out the SAM but that's pure conjecture. None of us know if it's worth it if you only consider the value of the F-35 at how successfully it can conduct this one particular job while ignoring how versatile it actually is.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
"Propaganda against Russian equipment doesn't apply to S-400 and F-35 because I'm assuming S-400 is 100% as capable as it is advertised and hyped up by fans. Even then, SEAD has advantages. SAMs literally can only react to attacks against itself and the targets they are protecting. So if both sides had their equipment's secrets revealed, the F-35 side has more to lose simply because it basically wins by default if neither sides were revealed."

Which is literally what a SAM is designed to do, as well as deny the air space to any enemy air force assets as well as enemy projectiles. You are acting like the leveled design of the S-400 or the SA-15 which will operate in tandem with the S-400 does not exist to defend against anti radiation missiles. .


What is it you are trying to say here ? This is assuming that F-35 side knows the electronic signature and capabilities of the S-400 which it does not atm.
This is going back to the start of the conversation. I feel like you haven't understood what I mean from my quote at top from your response. We both know what SAMs are literally designed to do it appears. Therefore you admit a SAM's "range" of operation is so limited to just one role. It cannot go on the offensive. It's the reaction and the lesser. So when we're comparing which secrets are more important, the greater platform's certainly. The F-35 just needs to avoid NEZ and there are many ways to intrude into NEZ and come out comfortably. That's not necessary these days! Stand off weapons can handle these SAMs like a piece of cake.

How can the reacting platform be better than the one calling the shots and deciding when to move and how the fight is fought? It's utterly ridiculous. This is NOT the role of air defence! How many missiles does such a SAM system have to defend against ARM and other ordinance? Please answer. Whatever that number is, it is finite and quite limited. What happens when they are exhausted? You pray that the SEAD guys have given up? Lol

Air defence is there to repel these attacks for as long as these missiles last and are successful in intercepting. Meanwhile other offensive weapons need to be used in order to stop these attacks. Therefore a SAM's role in a military is so much lesser than a frontline multirole strike fighter. It is certainly for the dull minded to consider the technical details of these two platforms to be comparable.

The calculus is similar to how we can prioritise the three main performance areas of MBTs. Mobility > Firepower > Protection. A tank first needs decent mobility before anything else because what use is perfect protection and firepower if the tank can't move and can't get to the fight? Then come firepower because what use is a well protected tank that can take a million shots if it cannot hit its target and destroy it? But beyond a certain level of minimally satisfactory mobility, firepower starts to have greater weighting on the calculus. Then at the highest levels when both mobility and firepower are maxed out, protection can be improved.

Similarly we can apply this sort of reasoning to SAM vs SEAD fighters. Air defence is a purely reactionary role. You are under attack already when you are using it. It can only fail and it needs to function perfectly the entire time for success. The fighters can reposition if they get painted or if they don't approach correctly at first. The group using the AD can only lose their AD and/or lose their site. The offensive side has all the initiative and decide on the circumstances of the fight. A more macro perspective puts these things into their roles and each has an important position. But if we're just talking about the two, any military will prefer to know about the dynamic offensive weapon as opposed to the static defensive weapon.
 
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Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
FFS let's push the restart button okay?

The point is this. Russia getting its hands on F-35 data is more valuable than US getting its hands on S-400 data which you and some other guy thought isn't the case. I'm correcting you. Let's totally forget about the other stuff written and start again.

The reason for this is because S-400 is a static piece of hardware. Not static in terms of physical motion although it absolutely is when it is set up to defend a site for example an airfield. It is static because it does one thing only and the entire platform is basically exactly like any other SAM system except maybe overall more capable because it has better radars, C4ISR, longer range missiles, and a whole host of different missile types, better trucks, quicker set up and pack up speeds, transit etc etc etc. But it is essentially the same old concept... find targets and shoot them down. Yes?
Yeah sure lets forget about you claiming that SAMs are non reloadable, that that SEAD aircraft can have an unlimited amount of missiles which it can throw at any enemy or using biased scenarios to stack the deck on your claim. I think not.
That aside, saying that the S-400 is the same old same old is not entirely true as it is not only one the first SAM system to incorporate a multi layer defense system against multiple target. It also uses new AESA radars which insofar no US aligned country has access to which has the capability to track stealth fighters, or so the Russian's claim.

While just because they claim so does not mean that it is automatically it is to the US benefit to determine whether it is so or not.

F-35 is not the same old fighter only with better everything etc etc. It can be fitted with all sorts of weaponry and conduct various mission types in far more environments than a static piece of military hardware. It's capabilities and improvements over previous generations of fighters is what gives it value. Revealing its radar, electronic, and heat signatures will almost completely take away its main advantages and entire purpose for existing.

Knowing the exact ranges and digital details of the S-400 system isn't going to surprise anyone. It may at most help planners figure out how best to counter them but SEAD already have great ideas on how to combat SAMs and how to approach the problem from knowing nothing about locations and capabilities and still minimising risks. Knowing the same details of the F-35 will do far more damage to the F-35 platform because no one outside the US and main partners know what it's capable of. Whereas everyone already has a good idea of what the S-400 does and is capable of. The F-35 program is also quite a lot more expensive than the S-400 program.
Oh please, whatever knowledge people has about the S-400 atm apart from their operators are based purely on sales brouchers and state sanctioned statements. Which is of no better credibility then what people say about the F-35. In fact we has a pretty good idea what the F-35 does and is capable off, at least what is told to us by LM.
And basing a project's capability of how much money is spent is laughable. It ignores wastage, redundancy and quality control. To put that into context a Virginia submarine is considered to be more advanced and quieter than a Seawolf, yet the Virginia costs less than a Seawolf officially.

FFS let's push the restart button okay?

A long range SAM is more expensive than an ARM. We should be comparing Russian long range SAM to Russian ARM and so on for fairness. Only long range SAMs need apply because if not long range, a fighter can just drop a cheaper bomb or use rockets.
FFS did you even look up on what kind of missiles were fired by the US in Syria. In two separate attacks they fired no less than 110 Tomahawks, each missile costing around one million per missile and that is not counting the other kind of cruise missile used by US allies . I did like you point one SAM missile that cost that much in return.
For dealing with ARMs, medium to short range missile will be employed like the Tor which are better suited to knocking out PGMs than the S-400 and these missile are far cheaper in return.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
You seem fixated on SAM vs SEAD and missing my point that being about initiative, offensive vs defence positions-weapons, and the value of confidential information between these. So I've made my point as well as I could be bothered and readers can decide for themselves but reality doesn't care for feelings and personal suppositions. Any military that looks at SAMs the way you do will have the same end as Saddam's and Assad's. No politics at all just facts. Israel and US fighters have striked Syrian targets pretty easily in the last year. They seem to do as they please even without involving F-35s. Iraq had multi layered "impenetrable" air defence SAM networks... for about a few days before getting wiped... without shooting down a single fighter. Bragged to be "the world's third most well defended airspace" after Russia and China but with even higher concentration of SAMs than either Russia or China.

Yes Tor and Pantsir are there for point defence. I'm aware S-400 has multiple missile types and the S-400 battalion is itself defended by other shorter ranged SAMs designed for this purpose. S-400 is more suited for aircraft, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and invading alien motherships.
 

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
"Propaganda against Russian equipment doesn't apply to S-400 and F-35 because I'm assuming S-400 is 100% as capable as it is advertised and hyped up by fans. Even then, SEAD has advantages. SAMs literally can only react to attacks against itself and the targets they are protecting. So if both sides had their equipment's secrets revealed, the F-35 side has more to lose simply because it basically wins by default if neither sides were revealed."



This is going back to the start of the conversation. I feel like you haven't understood what I mean from my quote at top from your response. We both know what SAMs are literally designed to do it appears. Therefore you admit a SAM's "range" of operation is so limited to just one role. It cannot go on the offensive. It's the reaction and the lesser. So when we're comparing which secrets are more important, the greater platform's certainly. The F-35 just needs to avoid NEZ and there are many ways to intrude into NEZ and come out comfortably. That's not necessary these days! Stand off weapons can handle these SAMs like a piece of cake.

How can the reacting platform be better than the one calling the shots and deciding when to move and how the fight is fought? It's utterly ridiculous. This is NOT the role of air defence! How many missiles does such a SAM system have to defend against ARM and other ordinance? Please answer. Whatever that number is, it is finite and quite limited. What happens when they are exhausted? You pray that the SEAD guys have given up? Lol

Air defence is there to repel these attacks for as long as these missiles last and are successful in intercepting. Meanwhile other offensive weapons need to be used in order to stop these attacks. Therefore a SAM's role in a military is so much lesser than a frontline multirole strike fighter. It is certainly for the dull minded to consider the technical details of these two platforms to be comparable.

The calculus is similar to how we can prioritise the three main performance areas of MBTs. Mobility > Firepower > Protection. A tank first needs decent mobility before anything else because what use is perfect protection and firepower if the tank can't move and can't get to the fight? Then come firepower because what use is a well protected tank that can take a million shots if it cannot hit its target and destroy it? But beyond a certain level of minimally satisfactory mobility, firepower starts to have greater weighting on the calculus. Then at the highest levels when both mobility and firepower are maxed out, protection can be improved.

Similarly we can apply this sort of reasoning to SAM vs SEAD fighters. Air defence is a purely reactionary role. You are under attack already when you are using it. It can only fail and it needs to function perfectly the entire time for success. The fighters can reposition if they get painted or if they don't approach correctly at first. The group using the AD can only lose their AD and/or lose their site. The offensive side has all the initiative and decide on the circumstances of the fight. A more macro perspective puts these things into their roles and each has an important position. But if we're just talking about the two, any military will prefer to know about the dynamic offensive weapon as opposed to the static defensive weapon.
No you are just trying to twist the word to suit your own argument, just because a system is more defensive in nature does not mean it is automatically at a disadvantage when faced with an offensive one.

And we are back to the tired argument of limited missile. Turning the argument against you, tell me how many missile a SEAD has that it can throw against a SAM in return ? It must also follow the laws of logistics and physics that SAM missiles are subjected to as well. You better then pray that the SAM operator in return has given up. You keep acting that a aircraft can have a magical dimension pocket somewhere on it where it stores unlimited missiles when that is absolutely patently not true. And the fact you keep denying and ignoring that shows the depth of your intellectual dishonesty here.
And if the enemy is so pre occupied with dealing with the SAM that it neglects to attack other targets then the SAM had done it's job already.

You keep focusing on the fact that a long range SAM needs to be deployed first before firing, yet you keep ignoring the fact that it is being capable of moving with in the span of minutes makes it extremely difficult to locate, track and destroy such systems over a wide range of terrain.
To put it in context, one would be spending hours locating and identifying a S-400 system and then passing it on to the SEAD aircraft who then has to travel to the target area and fire it's missile in the same area, only to have that time wasted when the S-400 packs up in 10 minutes and move 50km down the range.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
No you are just trying to twist the word to suit your own argument, just because a system is more defensive in nature does not mean it is automatically at a disadvantage when faced with an offensive one.
Ahhhhh already wrong. So very hopelessly wrong.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
You probably also think a kevlar vest is a superior weapon at achieving battle victories over an anti-material rifle. Just because I can be bothered at the moment, defensive weapons ARE indeed by definition at the disadvantage simply because a purely defensive weapon cannot do damage and the moment it does not work 100% PERFECTLY is the moment everything is lost. It cannot be more. An offensive weapon yields a result >1 if it does it's job. A defensive weapon yields a result between 0 (a total loss of objective) and 1. Even at perfect function, it is simply deflecting attacks and can only hope to negate the enemy's attack. The offensive weapon can net positive for its side by destroying important targets.

Now you'll probably say well an S-400 can shoot down fighters. Well on that assumption we'll need to be reminded that the discussion is about S-400 and F-35 in particular. If it can actually have a realistic chance at shooting down an F-35 then I agree with your suggestion that the S-400 is not at a disadvantage. But the reality is not only is it going to have a bad time trying to shoot down an F-35, it's probably abysmal at shooting down a fourth gen fighter. That's reality. You can count the number of fourth gen fighters shot down by SAMs on your hands while the number of SAMs knocked out are too hard to track. Why is this? Jee because real world is not hollywood where the SAM operator sees a perfect blip on his screen, pushes a button, and the fighter gets chased down by an impossble to defeat missile. Absolute delusions.

Now a dimwitted person will take this reality and jump to the conclusion that SAMs are therefore entirely useless. This also isn't true. SAMs demand careful military planning from the other side, it impedes their progress, forces risky and expensive SEAD missions and the other side better have some high quality well trained SEAD forces. You can count those countries on one hand. Russian/Chinese air defence units against weaker nations are going to be non-linearly more effective than they will be against the US. There are dozens of other reasons for SAMs but going up against F-35s and surviving isn't one of them.
 

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